Be Happy With What You Have
Everybody has heard the words “money doesn’t buy happiness, but I’d rather cry in a Ferrari.” It seems like a whimsical and ironic phrase, and it essentially is, but there is a lesson we can learn from it. We inherit these ideas from rampant neoliberalism, which can lead us to hate our lives, feel like failures, and think that everything would be better if only we had “X.”
They say that money problems have decreased. But they’re still there; they’re just tied in prettier bows. On one hand, it’s true that having a job and a moderate income can help you be more relaxed. But it isn’t any less true that money can’t buy mental health. On the contrary, sometimes it does nothing but aggravate certain problems and fill certain voids in the wrong way.
If you aren’t happy with what you have, you’ll never be happy with what you want, or with what you think you need. It isn’t healthy to live like that. Rather, it pushes you into a state of anxiety that causes you to miss out on unique moments in life.
“Have faith in time, for it tends to give sweet endings to bitter difficulties.”
-Miguel de Cervantes-
Life doesn’t begin when you get something you want
Current unemployment rates in many countries have many short- and long-term psychological consequences. But setting aside social and economic matters, it’s important to look more deeply into the factors that explain the constant need – which is so present in Western society – to renew our material desires.
Think about people who hope to have enough money to spend a few days at the beach with their family, or who hope to get a certain job so that they can celebrate with their friends. How would this affect their mood over time? They would probably be paralyzed, waiting for something to happen, rushing the hands of the clock to make it come faster.
If you wait for something external to fill your inner emptiness, you’re wasting time that you’ll never get back. When you get that great news, if you ever do, your spirits might just be exhausted from all the waiting.
“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
-Henry David Thoreau-
Nobody said that you can’t have aspirations, but they can’t be relegated permanently to the future. But this takes a lot of courage and an extreme tolerance for frustration and uncertainty. It’s comfortable to be able to go anywhere knowing that everything you left behind is in order, but life isn’t just a matter of security and tying up all your loose ends. You also have to be able to live with risk.
Certainty brings peace, but not happiness
Take advantage of your energy rather than waiting for it to come at the ideal time. Only by exploring what you already have will you be able to find new sources to replenish it. Life is made up of stages, and each of them has a special charm that we often only appreciate when we look back on it.
Being happy with what you have isn’t being conformist. Taking advantage of the positive things in your life isn’t a defeatist mentality. Knowing how to recognize the beauty in everyday people and situations involves learning that we are who we are because of the peace that we transmit, even if our wallets are sometimes empty. Being happy with what you have is aspiring to be better as a person, not an object.
You can’t learn how to stop losing your control and judgment over a bad economic situation by negotiating with the bank. You have to acquire this skill through learning lessons, seeing the problem with your own eyes, combating it with intellectual resources, and accepting it from the heart. The most worthwhile thing in life is inner peace, and that requires having gone through periods of complete uncertainty. It isn’t something that is acquired with a salary or in a set period of time. It’s a long and arduous emotional process.
While it’s true that everyone wants to obtain whatever they think is necessary to be happier, it’s also true that if that desire takes away all their passion for the present, it’s more like a form of self-imposed harm.
Our dreams should induce flow, and our goals should ensure that this flow isn’t a meaningless sway, but a commitment to a serious job or responsibility, something that makes us work and also makes us tick. Being happy with what you have is a commitment to the present, which will be reflected in your future.